Seven Mississippi universities were the target of bomb threats on Thursday, the latest in a rash of such incidents across the nation.
At 12:32 pm, Mississippi State University (MSU) issued a warning regarding a bomb threat reportedly made on campus close to Barnes and Noble and Cullis Wade Depot. The institution made an all-clear announcement less than an hour later.
After a diligent search with MSUPD and canine assets, MSU is declaring “all clear” and returning to normal operations. The university will issue a more comprehensive response later today. MSU is one of several higher education institutions plagued with bomb threats.
— Sid Salter (@sidsalter) July 28, 2022
“While incidents of this nature are the subject of frequent MSU Crisis Action Team training and drills, I am extremely grateful for the prompt and professional actions of MSU’s first responders today,” MSU President Mark E. Keenum wrote in a statement. “They work hard every day to keep our students, faculty, staff, and visitors safe, and I am proud of them.”
Other four-year institutions, including the University of Southern Mississippi, the Natchez Campus of Alcorn State University, the Tupelo and DeSoto Campuses of the University of Mississippi, and William Carey University, also received threats, the Clarion Ledger reported.
The incident comes a day after similar threats were made against 13 campuses in Alabama, including Auburn University, the University of Alabama in Huntsville, and the University of South Alabama.
All threats were unfounded, and universities in both states were permitted to resume their regular operations.
Are Campuses Safe?
Colleges and universities across the country have been disrupted by bomb scares throughout the summer. They came in the wake of similar threats made earlier this year, forcing a number of Historically Black Colleges and Universities into lockdown.
To restore a safe and secure learning environment, the Department of Education launched Project SERV earlier this year to provide immediate short-term funding to higher education institutions at the receiving end of such threats.
“We, at the Department of Education, recognize how these threats evoke a painful history of violence against Black Americans in this country that is especially traumatizing to HBCU students, faculty, and staff,” US Secretary of Education, Miguel Cardona, said.
The Project SERV grants for HBCUs will address students’ mental health needs, strengthen campus security, and restore learning environments, allowing them to focus on what they do best: educating the next generation of great leaders.